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PCL notes: Farris raising his stock
Nashville infielder works to improve his defensive versatility
07/11/2011 10:48 AM ET
Eric Farris is hitting .258 in 66 at-bats as a shortstop.
Eric Farris is hitting .258 in 66 at-bats as a shortstop. (Jim Redman/MiLB.com)
Life as a blocked prospect is never easy. Take Eric Farris, a second baseman in the Milwaukee Brewers' system who is stuck behind an All-Star obstacle in Rickie Weeks.

Farris could easily give into frustration as Triple-A Nashville seems to be as far as he will get with the Brewers. Yet every day, Farris keeps battling, keeps hoping he will get a chance, either with Milwaukee or on another team as the July 31 trade deadline creeps closer.

"All I can control is what I do on the field," Farris said. "[Weeks] is a great player, and I love watching him play. There's a lot of stuff in his game that I can take and learn from. It's nothing that bothers me. It's just something that's out of my control, and all I can do is what I can where I'm at."

Right now Farris is playing second base for the Sounds, batting .263 (90-for-342) with four home runs, 27 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. He has already surpassed his total of games played this year (85) versus last season (70), when he was sidelined by a knee injury.

"That's kind of been my main focus this year is to stay healthy," Farris said. "I want to get through the whole year and not spend any time on the DL like I have over the past couple seasons. As far as my body feels, it feels pretty good. I have my days. Things come up and bark every once in a while. But for the most part I'm healthy and I'm trying to stay that way."

In addition to trying to stay out of the trainer's room, Farris has played 17 games at shortstop this season.

"I think the plan with the organization is to move around a little bit," Farris said. "I think that I've proven I can play second base. Being able to play shortstop boosts my stock a little bit and hopefully makes my path to the big leagues a little easier."

Farris has as many errors at shortstop, five, as he does at second base.

"When I get over to shortstop especially, that's something I want to conquer," Farris said. "Right now I'm not as comfortable there as I am at second base because I haven't played there much in my career. That's something I want to keep working on."

With the Brewers in the thick of a four-team battle atop the National League Central, the trade deadline could loom large for Farris and other Minor Leaguers who could be dangled as bait to help the big league squad.

"You hear stuff, just along the wire," Farris said. "You've got to come out here and play -- that's really what it comes down to. If you're not playing well, who's going to want you anyway? So I mean, you've got to just go out there and get the job done every day and then what happens, happens."

In brief

Altitude aces: The Albuquerque Isotopes play at a mile above sea level, but lately their starting pitchers have been treating The Lab like a waterfront ballpark. The quintet of Ian Snell, Dana Eveland, Randy Keisler, John Ely and Tim Sexton have gone 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA over their last five starts, allowing just five walks and striking out 29 batters in 34 2/3 innings.

Cup of Joe: The newest Colorado Springs player made an impact in his first game as Joe Mather hit a two-run homer Tuesday in a 13-9 loss to Tacoma. Mather, who signed with the Rockies organization as a free agent after starting the year with Atlanta, went 1-for-4 and finished with three RBI.

Streak stopper: Fresno utility player Edgar Gonzalez saw his streak of reaching base safely end at 42 games during a 4-3 loss to Tucson on Friday night. Gonzalez's run was the longest in the majors or minors this season. The brother of Boston's Adrian Gonzalez, Edgar has played second base, shortstop, third base and the outfield corners this season for the Grizzlies.

Chris Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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